By JOHN SAKALA
North-Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mukumbi Kufuta says the K25.7 million Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is stimulus budget which accelerate economic growth in the province.
And Solwezi Town Clerk Bornwell Luanga said the hiked CDF from K1.6million to K25.7m will bring on board more community based projects which in turn will create more jobs for the locals.
Speaking with The Independent Observer, Mr Kafuta said the CDF allocation to the tune of K25.7 million was in line with the ‘New Dawn’ budget theme ‘Growth, Jobs and Taking Development Closer to the People.’
He said the Chamber had pinned stabilization of the economy, manufacturing, job creation and decentralization as key priority areas.
“Under stabilization, we are happy with the coming on board of large agricultural estates which comes with high concession for irrigation system. The estates we are talking about are like the Nakambala estate which employs engineers, electricians, accountants and general workers in the district. The estates will improve irrigation for small and large scale farmers all year round thereby giving them more disposable income.
“Still under economic stabilization, we are happy the New Dawn Government plans to increase copper production to 800, 000 metric tonnes per year from the current paltry 300, 000 metric tonnes per year. Once copper production is improved more jobs are created. We haven’t benefited much from the good prices which sales on $9, 000 per ton. We hope the formalization of small scale miners will bring on board machinery and equipment for them to benefit from the mineral resources,” he said.
He said manufacturing industry has been the most affected in Zambia thereby killing the economy and strength of the currency.
Mr Kafuta said the Industrial Zone has reduced the membership fee from $100, 000 to $60, 000 making affordable for Zambian companies to join.
He said under the Industrial Zone companies are given tax exemptions.
“Massive job creation has been difficult to actualize because Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) have been suffocated for long time. They have no friendly credit facilities to help them grow. But hearing government will help SMEs access friendly loans or access partnership is news good to our ear. Above all government’s promise of being a guarantor to SMEs, this should give the SMEs reason to celebrate,” he said.
He said the banning of importation of school desks will create local employment plus the main CDF will empower communities.
And Mr Luanga said theK25.7 million CDF will increase the economy of the district as more rate payers will have more honor to their obligation to the council.
He said some council’s attend to operational challenges, but the central government wants this to an old story.